Alumni, Family, Friends Gather to Dedicate Military Memorial
Gordon Alumna and U.S. Army Major Patricia was one of several speakers at Saturday's Military Memorial Dedication
To a crowd of more than 250 alumni, family and friends the Military Memorial on the campus of Gordon State College was dedicated Saturday.
The memorial is located where North Barracks once stood, between Lambdin Hall and Hightower Library. It is visible from College Drive.
The Memorial contains a Wall of Honor with the names of alumni and faculty who lost their lives in service to the United States. The cannon, which have been a part of the Gordon landscape for decades, flank the eastern entrance, and a model of the old Lambdin Hall portico serves as the site’s western entrance. A flag, which will be continually illuminated, is at the center of the memorial.
Planning for the memorial began 10 years ago after a conversation between Rhonda Toon, vice president for advancement and an alumna of Gordon, and Oliver Halle, a 1965 graduate of Gordon Military College. Toon expressed concern that there was not a memorial on campus that honored Gordon’s rich military past and its alumni. Halle agreed and planning for the memorial began.
Halle spoke at Saturday’s dedication.
“Today we have a memorial to honor those who answered … and never came home,” Halle said.
Halle also spoke of Toon’s perseverance in developing a plan and seeing it through with the assistance of the memorial steering committee and alumni, Rick Hahn, Don Neuner, Kike Seda and Danks Seel, among others.
Dan Rainey, HS ’61 and C ’63, spoke on the history of Gordon and the names on the wall were called by Rick Hahn, C ’64.
Maj. Patricia Justice, who graduated from Gordon’s nursing program in 1996 and has served in the U.S. Army for 13 years, spoke about her service in the 628th Forward Surgical Brigade before being deployed to Forward Operating Base Shank in Afghanistan in 2011. While serving there she was injured when an improvised explosive device detonated nearby.
“We stand in the midst or patriots and the family and friends of those who served nobly,” she said.
Before Danks Seel, HS ’62 and C ’64, offered the closing prayer, he shared a quote, “Soldiers that serve their country give their country a blank check, it says, ‘…Paid in full up to and including the loss of life…’”
Gordon State College student Andrew Price closed the ceremony with Taps.
After the dedication, a group of soldiers who served with alumnus Robert “Bobby” Hollar Jr., gathered in the Student Center. Hollar, who served in the 108th Cavalry Regiment, 49th Infantry Brigade, of the Georgia National Guard was killed in Iraq in 2005.
“Bobby put himself between our families and harm’s way,” said John Alderman, a member of the group honoring Hollar. “We serve for the guys next to us.”
The Military Memorial Dedication was part of the annual Alumni Weekend which draws alumni to campus for a weekend of events.
A video of the dedication is available for viewing on facebook and below.